Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar
FPJ Photo

Mumbai: Hours after an FIR was lodged by the BMC against a popular restaurant in South Bombay for violating Covid-19 safety protocol, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar has demanded that night curfew should be imposed in the city at the earliest. Pednekar on Thursday also warned Mumbaikars to ‘act responsibly’ if they do not want to face another lockdown.

Late on Wednesday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) registered an FIR against the manager of Auber-gin plates and pours, a popular restaurant at Breach Candy in south Bombay that was found violating Covid-19 norms.

Repeated violations of Covid safety protocol have prompted public representatives to demand stringent measures in the wake of the recent spurt in cases. Pednekar said on Thursday said that Mumbaikars would have to cooperate with the city civic body to curb the spread of the virus and avoid the imposition of lockdown. She has suggested that the BMC should now think about imposing a night curfew. “I think imposing a night curfew is essential now. Ward officials with their teams will monitor Covid-19 situation in their areas,” Pednekar said.

Pointing to the BMC action against the popular Breach Candy restaurant on Wednesday, Pednekar added: “Action will be taken against those violating SOPs. If Mumbaikars do not wish to face another lockdown, they need to act responsibly and cooperate with us.”

The civic body also collected Rs 19,400 from around 245 patrons at Auber-gin Plates and Pours who were found in blatant violation of physical distancing norms and not wearing masks, apart from sealing the premises. Besides this, a show-cause notice has been issued to the management of Auber-gin, asking why it failed to impose Covid-19 safety protocol on its premises.

The raid on Wednesday night was conducted by a team of officials from the D ward (Breach Candy, Malabar Hill, Nepean Sea Road). The FIR was registered at Gamdevi police station by Subodhchandra Rane, from the D ward’s health department.

As per the order issued by Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, first in 2020 and then on March 15, 2021, the ward officials formed a special squad to visit and inspect restaurants and bars in their jurisdiction to check whether these were following Covid safety protocol and take action against violators.

The establishment was not operating at 50 per cent capacity, as is currently required, nor were customers wearing masks or maintaining social distance, Rane said.

Rane and two sub-engineers, two junior engineers and a junior supervisor visited Auber-gin plates and pours on late Wednesday night. “During the inspection, we found that over 200 people were present inside the restaurant. The majority of them were not wearing masks and seen openly flouting physical distancing. When we inquired with the restaurant’s manager, his replies were vague and not satisfactory. Following this, we have lodged an FIR against the restaurant management at Gamdevi police station. We have also sealed the restaurant for violation for now,” Rane said.

The Gamdevi police have booked Sameer Subedar, manager of Auber-gin under section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of Indian Penal Code and section 51 (B) of disaster management act 2005 (refusing to comply with any direction given by or on behalf of the Central Government or the State Government or the National Executive Committee or the State Executive Committee or the District Authority).

Mumbai reported 2,877 new covid-19 cases, on Thursday and 2,377 on Wednesday, crossing the 2,000- mark for two consecutive days and the first time since October 15, when the city reported 2,119 cases in a single day.

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